During the Second World War just about every Nazi-leader had its own art collection. The hunger for art was enormous. Which paintings were brought from Belgium to Nazi Germany?

When Hermann Göring surrendered at the end of the Second World War, he had a panel of Memling that came from Belgium. He gave it to an American soldier, who wanted to pick up his gala uniform, a few clean shirts and fresh underwear for him. Then it got lost and it became a myth. 75 years later Geert Sels could find out where it is now. Not in America, as long thought, but in a French private collection.

Through his research into Nazi art, Sels tries to gain insight into paintings that were transferred to Nazi Germany from Belgium during the Second World War. There, Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring wanted to build supermusea. Apart from that, almost every Nazi leader had its own art collection. The hunger for art was enormous. Art was transferred from all occupied territories to Linz, Dresden and Berlin. Sometimes it was robbed, but very often also bought. Against all odds, the art market experienced golden times.

Geert Sels

Geert Sels (1965) is currently the cultural editor for De Standaard since 1996 (Belgium).
A working grant of € 2.270 euro allocated on 26/05/2015.
Fonds Pascal Decroos